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Coat

COAT - Double, with hard, wiry, outer coat and close undercoat. The head, neck, ears, chest, tail, and body coat must be plucked. When in show condition, the body coat should be of sufficient length to determine texture. Close covering on neck, ears, and skull. Furnishings are fairly thick but not silky. Faults - Coat too soft or too smooth and slick in appearance.

You must feel good coats to appreciate the texture. Coats are harder the shorter they are and appear to soften slightly as they get longer. Push the hair backwards with your fingers to feel the texture.

In order for the coat to stay in show condition as long as possible, much of the undercoat is removed. You may have to check very carefully to find any, but there will usually be some on the back of the neck.

Stripping

Sectioned Coat
Rolled Coat

The Miniature Schnauzer’s coat must be plucked for the show ring. Plucking (also called stripping) means that the long hair on the head, neck, ears, chest, tail, and body must be pulled out - all of it, the hard hair and the undercoat. There are two methods to do this; (1) pulling it out in sections all at once, and (2) once the dog’s good coat is in, pulling out the longer hairs so that the hard coat is in several different lengths at one time. For more information on stripping techniques, see the American Miniature Schnauzer Club’s Grooming Chart.

Stripping the dog’s coat all at once means that the exhibitor cannot show the dog for about 10-11 weeks while the coat is growing in, then the dog is in show coat for a maximum of 8 weeks and then the coat must be stripped again. Because most of the dogs are stripped in sections, they can only be shown for approximately 8 weeks. Exhibitors will try to stretch this time as much as possible, so a judge may have dogs with very short coat and very long coat in the ring at once. As long as the coat is not "blown", where the outline of the dog is obscured by hair and the length of the hairs is so long that texture cannot be determined, the length is of no consequence.

Rolling a coat means pulling out a percentage of the coat all over the stripped areas of the body so that all the hairs on the dog are kept in several different lengths and when one length gets too long it is pulled out and the next longest coat is there underneath. This technique is more difficult, but allows the dog to be shown consistently.

Either method of stripping is equally acceptable and should be of no concern when judging. It is the hardness and texture of the coat that must be checked, along with the thickness of the coat (the amount of hard hairs). You should be able to feel the texture of each hair.

Poor Coat Quality

This coat is very soft. Sometimes hard coats can be wavy, but on this dog, the hairs are thin and soft.

Clippered Coat

When a coat is clipped, the harsher hair tips are cut off and the remaining coat becomes soft and uniformly gray. Below is a clippered coat.